The Secret to Productivity? Relax.

Respect your body's natural rhythm and take a break. Your career will thank you.
February 22, 2013 In the New York Times this week, Energy Project founder Tony Schwartz shares some refreshing and welcome information about how to get things done and it's not an email system or way of writing down to-dos. Instead, it's a call to live a more balanced life: take more vacations, take more naps, and listen to your body's natural rhythms. 

From the article:
Spending more hours at work often leads to less time for sleep and insufficient sleep takes a substantial toll on performance. In a study of nearly 400 employees, published last year, researchers found that sleeping too little — defined as less than six hours each night — was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out. A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity.
Schwartz gives several examples: the basketball team that shot more accurately after sleeping longer. The accounting firm that saw a correlation between vacation time and performance ratings from supervisors. The reason? Our bodies were meant to alternative between output and rest:
The importance of restoration is rooted in our physiology. Human beings aren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.
Read his entire article here.

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Sean Blanda is the Associate Editor and Producer of 99U. You can find him on Twitter: @SeanBlanda.

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